Transparency in the use and utilisation of information and developments and inno-vations in technology

The public sector promotes government openness by opening public interfaces if there are no specific reasons to keep them restricted. 

The process will prioritise the most influential data resources. Easy-to-use, developer-friendly interfaces that follow the outlines of standard architecture will be developed to access public administration data resources. The data available on the interfaces will be recorded using standard procedures into a machine-readable and -interpretable format in order to make it easier to benefit from. The guidance needed in order to open the data and create the interfaces will be provided. A successful user experience of the data and its easy accessibility will lower the threshold of using the data and increase its usage. As a result, data producers will be more motivated to improve the quality and usability of data and data resources. The objective of this is to achieve a virtuous circle in which the quality of data will be improved and it will provide benefits, and the benefits of open data will spread far and wide inside society, also when companies join to become producers of open data. These measures will acknowledge the outlines and development measures of the European Union within this theme, including the Open Data Directive (EU/2019/1024), also known as the PSI directive.

The requirements concerning data protection and the data confidentiality regulations will be taken into account when plans are made for opening up data.

The project will be completed in a cross-administrative effort of cooperation, so that the accumulation of data will not put the data security of public administration at risk.

      • Interfaces’ general architecture to interfaces: The preparation of national policies concerning API interfaces has been started in MoF’s Utilisation and opening of data project. The opening seminar of this work was organised on 21 September 2020.
      • Guidance for opening the data and creating the interfaces: The Digital and Population Data Services Agency published a new version of the User Guide as part of the portal update late spring 2020.
      • Guidance related to the access to information and openness is also available in the recommendation on the preparation of the public access to documents description approved by the Information Management Board in February 2020. In September 2020, the Information Management Board has appointed a Sub-committee for public administration data utilisation to prepare recommendations concerning interfaces and transforming data into machine-readable format, which should be completed in 2021.

Quality criteria: Quality criteria intended to facilitate the utilisation of data will be prepared.

Quality improvement measures following the quality criteria will be primarily applied to the most significant data resources in the data opening process. Setting quality criteria and the extent of their validity will be planned to make up part of putting the quality criteria into practice.

      • The Quality frame of data project coordinated by Statistics Finland has been launched as part of MoF’s Utilisation and opening of data project.

Ethical guidelines: A general set of guidelines on the ethical use of artificial intelligence will be prepared in order to ensure that artificial intelligence will not utilise directly or indirectly discriminatory operational models in AI systems.

The measures to open public sector data will promote a data and AI policy that is ethically, financially and socially sustainable. Metadata that contributes to data resources management of high quality will also contribute to the creation of unified information resources required by machine-learning and AI in our linguistic area and, subsequently, the realisation of linguistic rights in an indirect manner.

Special groups will be consulted and the standards laid down in international human rights conventions and UN recommendations on the ethics of AI as well as data security questions will be acknowledged as a part of the preparatory process.

The AI and digitalisation expert team works as a group and the group members promote these objectives for their own parts. The group members actively participate in different international preparations. The current focus area is the EU. The group has also prepared statements on the topic.

The Ministry of Finance is currently negotiating on a possibility to have the University of Helsinki’s new Ethics of AI MOOC to be published at the end of November translated into Finnish and Swedish. The Ethics of AI MOOC is an extension to the popular Elements of AI. MOOC’s precise purpose is to offer concrete support in implementing the ethical guidelines of AI into actual practices, and it will be offered, for example, to the members of the AuroraAI network.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance is preparing a series of joint events concentrating on the ethics of AI together with the AI and digitalisation research expert team (27 November 2020), which will gather different government-level AI and ethics projects together, and a larger stakeholder event as part of the implementation of the ethical guidelines will be organised in February 2021.

On the national level, we are working in diverse ways to implement the information policy report’s objectives into practice. We will prepare strategic objectives for the utilisation of data. The data management map in accord-ance with the Act on Data Management in Public Administration will show the information we have in the public administration as well as how we will be using it.

      • The preparation for the guidelines on the ethical use of AI has been launched.
      • In January–February 2021, a comprehensible background report on the guidelines for ethical AI will be completed. The report states that key points in the ethically sustainable AI utilisation are not separate lists of instructions but the creation of processes and mechanisms that will actually implement the ethical guidelines, for example, as part of public administration and its algorithmisation.
      • The Ministry of Finance has participated in the preparation and processing of several ethical guidelines in writing as well as in several workshops (e.g. OECD Data Ethics Principles, MFA’s human rights background report, the ethical guidelines of the Parliament’s data policy working group, UNICEF and guidelines on children’s AI rights, AuroraAI and ethical guidelines).

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